Rep. Calvin Smyre Comments on Statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Capitol Grounds Bill Signing
ATLANTA – State Representative Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) commented today on Governor Nathan Deal signing into law House Bill 1080, legislation that authorizes the placement of a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the grounds of the State Capitol. Sponsored by Rep. Smyre, Dean of the House, HB 1080 received bipartisan support from House and Senate leadership, as well as the Office of the Governor. HB 1080 was signed into law by Governor Deal on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at a bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol.
“There is one thing we can all agree upon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a world renowned figure who stood up and spoke up for freedom, justice, and equality for all people regardless of status or position in life,” said Rep. Smyre. “He was a great Georgian who advocated nonviolence and inspired people around the world. It is only fitting that his native State of Georgia authorizes the placing of a statue on the grounds of the State Capitol. With wide bipartisan support from the House and Senate leadership, as well as the Office of the Governor, HB 1080 does just that. The Georgia State Capitol statue in his honor is long overdue. This legislation, HB 1080, co-sponsored by Representative Tyrone Brooks, Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Ethics Chairman Joe Wilkinson, was passed by wide margins in both chambers and has now been signed by Governor Nathan Deal.”
Rep. Smyre spoke at Tuesday’s bill signing ceremony, where he introduced Governor Nathan Deal for his remarks. In attendance at the ceremony were family members of the late civil rights’ leader.
HB 1080 states that the statue will be placed on the Capitol grounds or in another prominent place in the State Capitol building, and it will be placed there as soon as possible. The privately funded project will be led by the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission, which will undertake the statue’s design and fund-raising efforts.
“Every year in January we honor Dr. King, who inspired our nation with his dream of hope, justice and human rights,” said Deal. “This legislation goes beyond our words of praise by placing a physical monument at the state Capitol to commemorate this great Georgian’s legacy for many years to come. Not many states can boast a native son who merited a national holiday, but we Georgians can. Dr. King is a point of pride for our state, and he deserves to hold a place of honor on our Capitol grounds. I commend the General Assembly for its partnership in finding the proper tribute.”
For more information on HB 1080, please click here.
Representative Calvin Smyre represents the citizens of District 135, which includes portions of Muscogee County. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 1974, currently serves on the Appropriations, Higher Education, and Rules committees.
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